This morning, we woke up to the news that the police had arrested a man for the alleged rape and murder of Jill Meagher, a 29 year old journalist who had been missing since last Saturday night in Melbourne. My heart goes out to her family.
But I am not here to offer my views on the case. I’ll leave that to the courts and the justice system.
Rather, it’s about the comments I have been hearing following the aftermath of this arrest.
All you hear in the media is about how women need to stay safe when going out at night. For instance, on the Today show this morning, they were talking about how if women go out late and plan to walk home, make sure someone is with them. Because apparently in the aforementioned case, a co-worker offered to walk home with the victim but she declined. Then there were people on the show calling for more CCTVs and security. Or others saying that women shouldn’t be so naive and should choose routes that are safer [See this article how some people continue to blame the victim]. The one heartening thing I heard on the TV today was when the morning show on Channel Ten spoke to a homicide detective who said both men and women need to take precautions. But what I found strange was how the host kept asking him whether women would need to do something different or whether women needed to take more precautions. All the detective said was that women are physically weaker and therefore can be an easier target, which is a fact. But said apart from that, both need to take precautions. I was baffled by the presenter’s questions as well as what went on in the Today show. In both cases, they were women.
I wish people would realise that society’s attitude needs to change. It’s not the women who always need to take precautions. Why don’t we make the perpetrators learn? Why don’t we talk about the idiots on the street committing these horrendous crimes? Why don’t we try and get the idea that it is a free society and that the criminals are the ones that are the problem. Not the women who go out drinking or dancing at night.
It’s about time society is educated that just because someone is out late at night it is not an invitation for rape or assault or murder. And it’s about time something is done to the perpetrators and the victim is not blamed. Sadly, I think as women, we tend to be hyper-vigilant anyway. We have been trained over the years. Watching our every move. Trying not to stay late. Not to be by ourselves on an empty street. Not make eye contact with strangers.
Will it ever change?
One can only hope…
Until next time,